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Which size shot for rabbit?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Bobson, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    My brother and I are going rabbit hunting Saturday morning. What size shot should we use in the shotgun? Its a 12ga - I know its a bit heavy but I don't own a 20ga shotgun.

    I've read everything from size 4 through 7-1/2. What would (or do) you use in a 12 gauge? These are gonna be cottontails, not jacks. We don't have a dog to go after em, if that makes any difference. And obviously, would like to find a happy medium of minimizing gut shots, and not destroying half the meat in each bunny.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. d-dogg

    d-dogg Well-Known Member

    6 shot, and aim for the head. You're still going to be picking some shot out of the meat.

    Any reason you can't use a .22 rifle?
  3. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    He's 17, and his mom won't let him own a gun till he's 18, so we're both using my guns. I own one shotgun, and one .22 rifle. One of us will be using the Marlin 60, but the other will need to use either a Glock 19, or my shotgun. I was thinking the latter lol.
  4. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    I'll tell you how I used to hunt rabbit with a 12 gauge. I always used 6 shot. I also took my gun out and shot cardboard at a few distances to see what my shot spread and pattern was. Then I would use that knowledge to get the fewest amount of pellets in the rabbit. I used to do this with squirrel too. Sometimes you arent even aiming at the animal, even when its standing still. You aim so that the shot pattern hits only on the head, or mostly.
  5. Nasty

    Nasty Well-Known Member

    6...and chew carefully.
  6. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    Six it is, thank you guys. :) Good advice about patterning it, we'll be sure to do that.
  7. John828

    John828 Well-Known Member

    Growing up, I always used 7 1/2s -- maybe 7/8ths or 1 oz loads.
  8. Pistol Ranch

    Pistol Ranch Well-Known Member

    00 Buck will get er done:neener:
  9. ID-shooting

    ID-shooting Well-Known Member

    Sabot slug will ensure one shot humane kills
  10. wankerjake

    wankerjake Well-Known Member

    I prefer 6 as well, but 7 1/2 and 8 do the trick.
  11. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    Agreed with No.6 shot. As a default, anything normally considered "upland" game like rabbits, pheasant, etc., five or six shot is a good shoice. I like sixes because my shotguns pattern it well, but fives are another good fall-back.

    If you've got screw in chokes, find one that patterns evenly. Sometimes a particular shot size will either blow wide open (big gaps in pattern) or not spread as much as you'd like (big chunk of shot in center with very small periphery). I'd start with the Modified choke tube and try the Full if that is unsatisfactory. Very unlikely that Improved Cylinder will have a good pattern with shot as small as No. 6.
  12. 303tom

    303tom member

    Lewis & I use a .410 & 3in #2`s...............But that`s just me.
  13. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Well-Known Member

    The larger the shot, the more tender the meat will be...

  14. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Well-Known Member

    I've always used #6
  15. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Well-Known Member

    Another vote for 6.

    Just my .02,
  16. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    I like 6 or 4 for close shots and BB for longer shots
  17. Fryerpower

    Fryerpower Well-Known Member

    For me it is limited to what I can find. I have the choice of 7-1/2 shot or 5 shot in 20 ga. I chose 5.

  18. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Well-Known Member

    #5 or 6 lead.
  19. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Well-Known Member

    if you basically know your pattern size at diff ranges you can shoot ahead of the bunny and catch the head with the edge of the pattern. a bunny running away always seems to catch sum lead in the butt.i reload so i like a lite load of 2's or 4's but 6's are fine if your buying your shells.

    let us know how yur hunt goes! yu got me hungering for sum bunny.we dont have many wild ones here so ill jus go out back to the shed and get one out of its cage.
  20. 308win

    308win Well-Known Member

    I see you are from Arizona so I assume you are hunting Jackrabbits. I don't know if they are harder to kill than Cottontails but I always used 71/2s on Cottontails as it doesn't take much to kill them.

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